Along with the mainstays of Pokémon Go’s Go Battle League — Great League, Ultra League and Master League — there are the occasional interlude cups for PVP aficionados. Those battling a few months ago will remember the Flying Cup, where everything had to be a flying-type Pokémon.
This time around, with the return of the Ultra League comes the Little Cup Remix in Pokémon Go, both of which are here for one week, from 20 July to 27 July.
Like with Flying Cup, there are some additional team-building requirements you need to be aware of.
On this page:
Little Cup Remix restrictions in Pokémon Go explained
The normal rules of Little Cup apply, but with the notable addition of a banned list.
For those new to Pokémon Go, or its PVP modes, Little Cup asks you to put together a team of three ‘little’ Pokémon - in this case, little means one of two things.
First, all Pokémon must be at or below 500 CP to be eligible.
Second, all Pokémon must be unevolved - i.e., they can evolve, but have not done so. A 500 CP Charmander, for example, is fine as it can evolve, but a Shuckle would not be eligible as it can’t evolve at all. Likewise, Charmeleon is ineligible as it has already evolved from Charmander.
Lastly, the Pokémon can’t be one of the four banned Pokémon - the four most-used Pokémon from standard Little Cup. This is where the Remix part of the cup comes in, in a bid to shake up the meta. Those of you who are particularly sick of Bronzor, for example, will be delighted to see that you won’t be staring at its beady little eyes this time around.
The four banned Pokémon in Little Cup Remix are:
Like with the Great League, there’s a huge upside to playing Little Cup in that the 500 CP limit makes putting a team together relatively cheap and easy – particularly in terms of Stardust.
This also means that you don’t need to worry about mythical and legendary Pokémon coming to ruin your day as they’re generally caught at much higher CPs, making them ineligible for Little Cup and Little Cup Remix.
The downside, of course, is that we're picking from a very shallow pool of Pokémon. While everything is weaker at 500 CP, those that are standout are obviously narrower than if the CP cap was higher or if evolved Pokémon were eligible.
If you don't have our recommended Little Cup Remix choices, the chances are you can find them pretty easily in the wild before the next Cup. It also makes Community Day, which offers an easy source of strong Pokémon that fare well at lower CP levels, a more attractive proposition.
No matter which League you participate in, remember you are after Pokémon with a decent amount of bulk (the ability to survive charged moves - type weakness depending - so you can fire off a few of your own) and those that best counter or expose weaknesses in the current meta (which is a term for what the community is using at present).
Though there are specific Pokémon and types that dominate the meta, remember with the Go Battle League (and PVP battles in general) you'll be going in blind; so even if you cover yourself with a wide range of offence and defence options, no team is invincible. Ultimately, there is an element of Rockruff-paper-Scizor to this.
Still - even with a few of the below Pokémon in your team, you should be able to fare better than if you just selected those as close to the 500 CP cap as possible.
The Season of Timeless Travels has arrived in Pokémon Go! The Along the Routes event is here, bringing Gift Exchange and the A Route to New Friendships quest with it. During it, take the time to try out Routes and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.
Our Little Cup Remix recommendations from Pikachu Libre to Spritzee
There is no one 'best' team you can choose - since, as mentioned previously, you don't know what you are up against - and not everyone has access to every type of Pokémon.
Instead, here is a general list of recommended Pokémon to build a team from, with a wide range of sources that should suit all players, whether you've been collecting creatures since day one or just started playing.
Remember you want to build a team with different type strengths and defences. For example, if you build a team with all fire types, you'll be especially open to water-types - a single Squirtle will wreck your squad.
As always, it's also worth noting that if you want to really compete, each of your Pokémon need two Charged moves. This not only allows you options, but in some cases allows you to run an attack that beats the Pokémon yours is weak against. If you want to skimp on Stardust and only run the one move, do so at your own peril - you have been warned.
Our recommendations in National Pokédex order:
Recommended moves: Thunder Shock (Fast), Flying Press (Charged), Thunder Punch (Charged)
Pikachu Weaknesses: Ground
Libre is reluctantly being added to the list as it’s so incredibly rare, but with the expected abundance of water-type Pokémon, this Spandex-donning electric mouse may well ruin your opponent’s day.
Thunder Shock and Thunder Punch go incredibly well together, and if you ever need to go hard or take out something weak to fighting attacks, Flying Press has you covered.
However, most people reading this likely won’t have this option, which means that you’ll likely be looking at your suite of other Pikachus. A bog-standard, normal Pikachu with no frocks or frills is still a reasonable choice here, but you lose access to both recommended Charged Moves.
In this case, Pikachu generally wants to run Wild Charge and Surf, but with the caveat that Wild Charge, while powerful, will debuff you, and you’ll probably need to use an Elite TM to put Surf on your Pika pal.
Recommended moves: Water Gun (Community Day Fast), Aqua Tail (Charged), Icy Wind (Charged)
Seel Weaknesses: Electric, Grass
Seel is one of those Pokémon you’re likely to see a lot of, being a strong contender in the full Little Cup. And with the loss of Bronzor, you gain the ability to swap Lick for Water Gun – a slightly harder hitting move to charge up that spammy Aqua Tail attack.
This said, psychic- types may well be a problem (we’re looking at you Wynaut). If you’re worried about anti-psychic coverage, or can’t spring for an Elite Fast TM, Lick is the way to go.
Icy Wind as your second move is also a great add, as it protects your grass-types - something notably weaker with the loss of Cottonee.
Recommended moves: Lick (Fast), Body Slam (Community Day Charged), Power Whip (Charged)
Lickitung Weaknesses: Fighting
If you’re looking for a tank, this surprisingly agile Pokémon is one to watch.
Lick is excellent against any psychic-type Pokémon that filter through into the meta, and the relatively fast Body Slam makes for an excellent spammy attack. With the abundance of water-type Pokémon we’re expecting in this meta, Power Whip makes for a great second move.
However, if you’re looking to go all out, Lickitung has the bulk to pull off a deadly Hyper Beam against a trainer who has run out of shields. With STAB, this move really does hit like a truck.
Recommended moves: Vine Whip (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Grass Knot (Charged)
Chikorita Weaknesses: Bug, Fire, Flying, Ice, Poison
Are you looking for a grass-type to replace Cottonee? Chikora is probably your best bet.
With a fast-charging Fast move and a fairly powerful grass-type Charged attack, it’s a great choice in a meta dominated by good water-types. However, it’s worth noting that one of those water-types, Ducklett, is really just a flying-type in this meta, so you’ll need to pick your battles carefully.
Still, if you run into anything like Marill or other second-tier water-types, you’re going to be laughing as you spam them with your vines.
Type: Water / Ground
Recommended moves: Mud Shot (Fast), Body Slam (Charged), Mud Bomb (Charged)
Shadow Wooper Weaknesses: Grass
This pick is particularly interesting in that its +/-20% swing for being a Shadow Pokémon brings its attack and defence almost in line with each other. Combined with the fast-charging Mud Shot and the spammy set of Charged moves and you have a real contender on your hands.
The ground-typing makes it particularly strong against poison and fire-types, which were prevalent in the normal meta with Bronzor floating around, so if you’re expecting people to just bring what they would to the normal cup, without rebalancing their team, this is a great meta choice. The additional coverage against rock, steel and electric-types is all upside too.
Just be aware that this Pokémon folds quickly to any strong grass-type attacker and switch out when you need to.
It’s also worth noting that a normal Wooper works here, but the Shadow variant, if you have it, will likely win you more matches.
Recommended moves: Ember (Fast), Weather Ball (Charged), Solar Beam (Charged)
Sunny Castform Weaknesses: Ground, Rock, Water
If you’re looking for a fire-type to replace Vulpix, Sunny Castform is your go-to option. While arguments could also be made for Tepig and Growlithe, Sunny Castform is a better all-rounder.
The addition of Solar Beam means that if you do happen across any water-type Pokémon (which is highly likely), you have something with which you can go nuclear. However, it takes a while to charge so if you do hope to use it, maybe have it towards the back of the team, with a faster, spammier Pokémon to take out their shields first.
Recommended moves: Counter (Fast), Mirror Coat (Charged)
Wynaut Weaknesses: Bug, Dark, Ghost
Another strong contender, given its power in the normal Little Cup, this extremely bulky Pokémon is one to keep an eye on. However, it’s a risky pick that comes with a couple of caveats.
First and foremost, it’s not a flexible option, with just one Charged Move available. Although it’s a heavy hitter, it takes a while to charge up. It’s also worth noting that while there is a second Fast Move you can use, it’s Splash… so you pretty much can’t use it.
Still, if you’re looking for a Counter user with a lot of bulk, Wynaut is a viable option.
Type: Ghost / Flying
Recommended moves: Hex (Fast), Icy Wind (Charged), Shadow Ball (Charged)
Drifloon Weaknesses: Dark, Electric, Ghost, Ice, Rock, Grass
Hex is another one of those great Fast Moves that charges quickly, helping you get to your punishing Charged Moves quick enough to burn through the opponent’s shields.
Icy Wind is a great choice in that it reduces the opponents attack, too, which makes it all the more frustrating to go against. Shadow Ball, on the other hand, deals a frightening amount of damage for its energy cost, putting a great deal of pressure on the opponent to use those shields early.
Just be aware that for all these upsides, its downside is that it lacks bulk and has a good deal of weaknesses. If you can use it well, it may just be the perfect Pokémon for your team.
Type: Water / Flying
Recommended moves: Wing Attack (Fast), Bubble Beam (Charged), Brave Bird (Charged)
Ducklett Weaknesses: Electric, Rock
With the rebalancing of the meta taking out half of the Pokémon that Ducklett bodies, this may well be its chance to shine.
The water and flying-type combo leaves it with few real weaknesses, and means that it has the upper wing (in lieu of hands) against grass-types, which we expect to see a fair amount of, given the number of water-type Pokémon floating up the rankings.
Be aware that Brave Bird is incredibly powerful, but you will drop your defence in executing it, so make sure you plan your timings carefully.
Type: Dark / Steel
Recommended moves: Fury Cutter (Fast), Night Slash (Charged), X-Scissor (Charged)
Pawniard Weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Ground
Pawniard is one of those Pokémon with few meta-relevant weaknesses – excellent fire-types in particular are surprisingly thin on the ground, thanks to the elimination of Vulpix. Pawniard also has 11 different resistances, which is always encouraging.
Fury Cutter is an excellent fast-charging Fast Move, helping you get to your Charged Moves faster. The great thing about Night Slash and X-Scissor is that they both cost the same to pull off, meaning that the opponent will have no idea which one you’re using.
If you want to stick to STAB, or don’t expect many grass, psychic or other dark-types, Iron Head is a decent option instead of going double bug-type with your attacks here.
Recommended moves: Charm (Fast), Thunderbolt (Charged), Draining Kiss (Charged)
Spritzee Weaknesses: Poison, Steel
Charm is an incredibly good move in Pokémon Go, and Little Cup Remix is no exception – even with Deino being banned from the meta.
The thing that makes Spritzee such an interesting pick though, is that one of the two Charged Moves it can learn is a very strong electric attack that will destroy most of the water types you’ll come across. Ducklett in particular folds against to it, being doubly weak to electric attacks.
This is important because there really aren’t many decent electric- types to choose from – just Pikachu, Mareep and Elekid, which is so low-ranking it’s barely worth mentioning.
Another interesting point here is that should Cottonee remain a dominant Pokémon in Little Cup when it rolls around again, Spritzee tends to beat it fairly consistently, which makes it another good choice for you to invest in.
Good luck in the Little Cup Remix!